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Big Data to revolutionise building efficiency

Analysing building data and comparing performance with similar buildings is set to be the next ‘big win’ for building efficiency, according to building services association BSRIA.

Big Data, as the process is also known, uses the information gathered by AC systems, lighting controls and energy meters, among other relevant technologies, to optimise the environment for an individual building.

BSRIA CEO Andrew Eastwell said: “The need for accurate and more comprehensive measurement has been increasing in response to the revolution that is the low-carbon agenda. Big Data is the new kid on the block that may be about to revolutionise the traditional measure/analyse/publish process that has dominated research and guidance in our sector.

“This is where BIM, Smart Cities, performance contracting and responsive design meet. It challenges all the preconceptions of professional codes, cuts swathes through the notion of privacy and opens up “our” market for knowledge to an entirely new set of competitive players.”

Software can also identify problems in various systems. By comparing the output of internal systems to those of similar building types and sizes, managers can determine if their equipment is as energy-efficient as it should be.

Additionally, managers could use data analytics software to assess the state of their equipment and identify problems that may result in hardware failures down the road. By spotting those issues early and adjusting maintenance schedules to address them, building managers can avoid costly breakdowns and equipment replacements.

Mr Eastwell said: “As disruptive technologies go, Big Data has managed to remain under the public radar quite well until the recent disclosures of the US Prism project. Under Prism, colossal quantities of data harvested from both open and private sources are analysed to identify supposed threats to homeland security.

“It is the use of automatic analytics software combined with large arrays of sophisticated new sensing technologies that makes Big Data techniques so intriguing for the built environment sector.”

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